We are building toward a major action at Vanguard’s Pennsylvania headquarters on Wednesday, April 19, and part of our plan to get there is to use smaller actions to pave the way. That was one of the goals of last week’s A Message from the Future Action. Fifteen of us transported ourselves to 2033 for a future mock press conference outside Vanguard headquarters. Our actors announced a lawsuit filed against Vanguard for the asset managers’ irresponsible business practices and the damages wrought by continuing to invest in climate destruction. Although the script included fictitious names and some humor, the threat is real – to Vanguard as well as the rest of us.
Increasingly companies are being sued for their role in climate catastrophe. On the same day, Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley failed to address climate risk when he spoke at Exchange ETF in Miami — a city jeopardized by rising sea levels. Instead of acknowledging this context, his talk focused on Vanguard’s use of technology, such as an app for customers which is part of Vanguard’s approach to the future. His remarks reinforced the reason we keep showing up, speaking the truth that Vanguard executives are trying to dodge. Our skit was more grounded in reality than his talk to business leaders.